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Entry requirements:

To have completed a BA with a major in the subject(s) you intend to undertake during your Honours year. Ideally you should have a B+ or better in four 300-level papers in that subject.

Qualification requirements:

Students complete three 400-level papers, [LANG] 451, 452, 441 and a dissertation [LANG] 490. Each paper is worth 20 points, while the 490 is worth 60 points. Under the new regulations, the programme must be completed in one year of full time study. It is important to note that Honours in one of our international languages normally involves a semester of In-Country Study at one of Otago's approved partner institutions. Two of the three required papers (451 and 452) and some of the work on the dissertation are undertaken during this semester abroad.

Preparations for the Honours year begin in the first semester of the preceding year, when you signal to your Programme Coordinator your intention to enter Honours upon completing your Bachelor's degree. You will contact the International Office where you can 'book' a place with your intended In-Country Study university and organise the Learning Agreement. The Learning Agreement is a provisional selection and approval of papers equivalent to 2 x 20 Otago 400-level points. All students must have a supervisor who oversees their research on their particular 490 (dissertation) topic. Thinking about a research topic and an appropriate supervisor starts at this point also. Your place for In-Country study remains provisional until formal entry to Honours is completed later in the year.

Once your final results are available, you will receive an invitation from the Head of Programme inviting you to apply formally for entry to Honours. As soon as you have your results, know that you have completed all your Bachelor's degree requirements and have secured a B+ or better average in the 300-level papers of your language Major, you need to apply to the University (not the Department) for entry to the BA (Honours). Note: applications for entry to Honours are usually due by the second week of December.

After your semester of In-Country study, you will return to Otago where you will complete the 490 dissertation and take the 441 paper in your Honours language programme.

The dissertation is a piece of original research of approximately 15,000 words, if written in the target language or 20,000 words, if you choose to write in English. This is a significant project that demonstrates your ability to research, critically evaluate sources and materials, and to produce a very substantial piece of analytical writing.

It is also possible to undertake a Combined Honours degree where you mix a language with another discipline. Such programmes are subject to approval by the Heads of both departments involved.

Please note that students receiving student allowances who undertake the Honours programme are still eligible for support.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us:

Languages and Cultures
3rd Floor, Arts Building: reception (8.30am - 5pm): office 3C9

Honours Coordinator: Dr. Tiffany Trotman, email

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